Last updated on February 16th, 2017 at 08:57 am
It has been a springtime tradition for over 130 years! And it is truly the opportunity of a lifetime!
The annual White House Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 17th, 2017, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 35,000 lucky guests from across the nation will gather on the South Lawn of the White House for games, storytelling, entertainment, and egg rolling.
The White House Easter Egg Roll happens each year and is a free and event for kids and their parents.
This tradition has been around longer than any other tradition to come out of the Presidential office.
The event is really much more than just an egg hunt.
The event of the day that everyone eagerly awaits is the roll on the white house lawn. The children line up and roll a hard-boiled egg down about 10 yards in a race.
Additionally, the White House will open the South Lawn to families for activities like egg decorating, book readings by celebrities, sports, cooking classes, live musical performances, storytelling and the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll.
The President and First Lady also traditionally make an appearance to greet the children and wish everyone a happy Easter.
The White House Easter Egg Roll happens the Monday after Easter.
History of the White House Easter Egg Roll
History reflects that Dolley Madison, the wife of President James Madison, is to credit for the very first event, dating back to 1814. Hundreds of children brought their decorated eggs to join in the games. Originally the event took place on the capitol building’s lawn.
In 1878, President Hayes moved the location of the Easter Egg Roll to the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday.
Presidents have continued the tradition of inviting children to the White House Lawn for egg rolling and other activities and entertainment.
There wa12-yearyear hiatius during World War I and II with the events resuming in 1953
The official White House Bunny arrived on the scene in 1969, as one of Pat Nixon’s staff dressed in a white fleece bunny costume roaming the grounds and welcoming the egg rollers and posed for pictures.
By 1974 the activities evolved into organized egg-rolling races.
The 1981 White House Easter Egg Roll featured assorted clowns and characters, balloon vendors, Broadway show vignettes, a petting zoo, exhibits of antique cars, and an eggxposition of 50 uniquely decorated eggs (one for each state).
Each participant received a goody bag filled with a program, toy products supplied by corporate sponsors, and food. Since 1987 the event’s theme has been inscribed on each egg, and by 1989 George and Barbara Bush added their facsimile signatures.
Since 1987 the event’s theme has been inscribed on each egg, and by 1989 George and Barbara Bush added their signatures.
The National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks, produces and sells the commemorative White House Easter eggs. Each child 13 years and younger who attends the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn will also receive a souvenir egg. (You can support the National Park Foundation and get your commemorative Easter eggs here.)
Today, the Easter Egg Roll has grown from a few local children rolling eggs on the White House lawn to become the largest event held at the White House.
How to get tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll
The good news is—it is not too early to start planning for 2017.
Tickets for the event are distributed free of charge via an online lottery system, allowing guests from across the United States to participate. All attendees must have a ticket.
The lottery opens about 2 months before the event. The lottery takes into account family size, the geographic area in the country, and the time you request in determining who wins the tickets.
Our tips for securing tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll:
- Mark your calendars for 6 weeks in advance.
- The lottery sign-ups are done on National Park Service website recreation.gov (typically 6 weeks before the event)
- You can also check for information at the White House Egg Roll website. This website will be updated whenever new Easter Egg Roll information is released, so be sure to check back often!
- If you want to receive a reminder to enter when the lottery opens, just follow us on any of our social media sites. We’ll be sure to share the lottery entry dates with you! Facebook Twitter Google +
Happy Easter and may your 2017 vacations plans include the White House Easter Egg Roll!
Another great Spring time event for families is the Cherry Blossom Festival. Find out more here.